Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inheriting the earth

I recently set out to do a Google map that provided an interface between Google's map of the world and our online catalog. In other words, when you click on the placemark for the Philippines, you can hit a link and see which books we own about that country. I did the initial set myself. Then I passed it along to my work study law student and had him add a further link to the CIA World Factbook. With that done, we added links to the online law archives of every state. Currently, he is adding photos from Wikimedia to show scenes from each country. Meantime, this has quietly attracted an audience - more than 600 views and the pace appears to be accelerating.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Google themes

For some time Google has opened up its IGoogle theme bars to developers. I looked into it a year ago and found that the instructions made the 1040 tax form look easy by comparison. Recently, I noted that they have put in an interface that makes theme creation about 100 times easier. I started by creating a few from my vast library of pictures from Ireland. Getting the images to display correctly was a process of trial and error. I created 3 or 4 that I wish I could take back, but then got into the swing. Some of these started appearing in the index within days. You can see whatever has been listed so far at: . By today, I have nearly 200 themes in the index (If you add one or two a day it adds up pretty fast). The usage counts are interesting. Most show up as <100 subscribers. At first I was doing this just as a lark without any sense of others using the themes. Then one day, one of the themes showed 120 subscribers. Since then more than 30 have popped up with more than 100 at one time or another. Lately, there are always 7 or 8 at a given time with known counts. Things got really interesting in the fall, when one of my themes got some attention, apparently from Google France, and the theme got more than 12,000 subscribers.

Monday, January 5, 2009


A few months ago, I realized that my 'B' digital camera can take video with sound that can be uploaded to YouTube. I found out that snippets less than a minute long are most likely to be seen. I've also proved that people will look at anything. See for yourself at